Watch John Mayer play Jeff Beck’s custom Strat during Dead & Company’s The Sphere residency

John Mayer plays Jeff Beck's Strat onstage with Dead & Company
(Image credit: JohnMayerGear Instagram)

In recent years, John Mayer has rarely been spotted without his best-selling PRS Silver Sky signature guitar. However, he’s recently resumed playing some old favorites, like his Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster

During his recent residency shows at Las Vegas’ uber-futuristic The Sphere with Dead & Company, he’s been seen wielding a familiar-looking white Stratocaster with a reverse headstock. 

Fans had theorized that it looked strikingly similar to the late Jeff Beck’s Custom Shop Strat, and now gear guru Joe Bonamassa has confirmed those eagle-eyed suspicions, saying it is indeed the real deal.  

John Mayer has a NEW Fender Strat... and it's Jeff Becks?! - Dead & Company at The Sphere 2024 - YouTube John Mayer has a NEW Fender Strat... and it's Jeff Becks?! - Dead & Company at The Sphere 2024 - YouTube
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Instagram account JohnMayerGear and Youtuber Justin Jeske were the first to draw the parallels to Beck’s 2014 build, noting its reverse headstock, split roller nut, block saddles, and two-point bridge. 

However, the account assumed that the guitar was a custom model built for Mayer, considering Beck's guitar never saw a production run green-lit. The reality, though, is even more exciting, with Bonamassa commenting on the former's post: “It is Jeff Beck’s Strat.”  

Beck’s famed guitar, as it turns out, has been lent to Mayer for a few of their shows at The Sphere, with the guitar used for the songs Black Peter and Days Between – as reported by JohnMayerGear. 

A separate post theorizes his trio of amps for the shows – and what the Beck build was ultimately paired with – was made up of a Dumble Overdrive Special, a Fender Twin Reverb, and, probably, a Dumble Small Special.  

Taking the guitar’s esteemed heritage into account, Mayer channeled his inner Jeff Beck via some fluttering whammy bar lines and fingerpicking in honor of his pick-less playing style, looking very much in his element. 

He’d previously played a Jeff Beck Master Built Strat to track Heartbreak Warfare, from 2009’s Battle Studies. This showcase takes his Beck love affair one step further. 

It's probably a good thing he didn't copy Beck's '66 antics with The Yardbirds, when the former smashed a sunburst Hofner Senator to pieces before Jimmy Page's eyes. 

Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to ProgGuitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.